Yesterday several MPs and civil society organisations met with Judith Heumann, Special Advisor on International Disability Rights at the U.S. State Department, during her visit to the UK.
The meetings, which RESULTS UK helped to facilitate in our role supporting the All Party Parliamentary Group (APPG) on Global Education for All, were a chance for UK parliamentarians to ask about progress in the US with the ratification process for the UN Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities. It was also an opportunity to discuss how the US and UK can work together to ensure that the rights of disabled people and education for disabled children are prioritised in development and aid policies at the national and international level.
Special Advisor Heumann is an internationally recognised leader in the disability rights community with over 30 years of experience working with disabled people’s organisations and governments around the world to advance the human rights of disabled people. She is a former teacher, and previously served as Assistant Secretary in the Department of Education under the Clinton administration and as the lead advisor on disability at the World Bank. In her current role as Special Advisor on International Disability Rights at the U.S. State Department, Heumann is responsible for promoting inclusion of disability issues in U.S. foreign policy, and the ratification process for the UN Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities, which is currently passing through the US Senate.
Judith Heumann proved to be an inspiring speaker, and the meetings were a great opportunity for frank and constructive discussions about how the US and UK can work together to advance international work on disability rights.